United States                    Office of Water               EPA 816-F-00-013
                       Environmental Protection           (4606)                      March 2000

  SEPA      Fact Sheet

                       Using  DWSRF  Set-Aside  Funds

                       for Source Water  Protection

                       WHAT IS THE DWSRF?
                       The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) program was established by the Safe
                       Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments of 1996. The program authorizes grants to States
                       to capitalize revolving loan funds. States use funds to provide loan assistance to eligible
                       public water systems for infrastructure improvements needed to continue to ensure safe
                       drinking water. The program also emphasizes preventing drinking water contamination by
                       allowing States to reserve a portion of their grants to fund activities that encourage enhanced
                       water system management and source water protection.

                       WHAT IS SOURCE WATER PROTECTION?
                       Source water protection is a common sense approach to guarding public health by protecting
                       drinking water supplies.  In the past, water suppliers used much of their resources to treat
                       water from rivers, lakes, and underground sources before supplying it to the public as
                       drinking water. Taking positive steps to manage potential sources of contaminants and
                       preventing pollutants from reaching sources of drinking water can often be more efficient
                       and cost-effective than treating drinking water later.

                       SDWA 1453 requires each State to develop comprehensive Source Water Assessment
                       Program (SWAP) which will result in assessments of every public water system in the State.
                       These assessments, which must be made available to the public, will  include a delineation of
                       the areas needed to protect the drinking water source, an inventory of potential contaminant
                       sources, and a determination of the water system's susceptibility to contamination. SDWA
                       1454 gives States the opportunity to establish source water petition programs that can
                       investigate the origins of pollution in order to reduce levels of contamination, establish
                       partnerships for source water protection, and develop recommendations for long-term source
                       water protection strategies.

                       Under SDWA 1452(g)(2), States may use up to 10 percent of their DWSRF allotment to
                       administer or provide technical assistance through source water protection programs,
                       excluding enforcement actions.

                       Under SDWA 1452(k), States may use up to 15 percent of their capitalization grants to fund
                       several types of source water protection activities. States may provide loans for acquiring
                       land or conservation easements and to fund voluntary, incentive-based source water quality
                       protection measures. States may also make expenditures under this set-aside for establishing
                       and implementing wellhead protection programs.  States were allowed to reserve funds from
                       fiscal year 1997 grants to conduct activities related to the SDWA 1453 requirements to
                       delineate and assess sources of drinking water.  Although a maximum of 15 percent of the
                       capitalization grant can be set aside for source water protection activities under 1452(k), no
                       more than 10 percent of the grant can be used for a single type of source water  protection

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Up to 10 percent of a State's allotment can be used for State program management [1452(g)(2)].  Funds can be used to
support source water protection programs, which may include:
       Hiring staff to administer and provide technical assistance through source water protection programs
       Completing contamination source inventories and susceptibility analyses
Up to 15 percent of a State's capitalization grant can be used for local assistance and other State programs [1452(k)].
Up to 10 percent of these funds may be used to:
       Make loans to public water systems for purchasing land or conservation easements for the purposes of source
       water protection.
       Make loans to community water systems for implementing source water quality protection partnership petition
       programs or voluntary, incentive-based source water protection measures.
       Establish and implement wellhead protection programs
       Conduct delineations and assessments of source water protection areas for public water systems in accordance
       with 1453 (using fiscal year 1997 grant funds only)

       Pennsylvania is using  1452(g)(2) funds to hire an environmental planner to develop and administer local source
       water protection grants and to deliver training to water systems and field staff.  A hydrogeologist will be hired to
       develop and maintain a geographical  information system to hold data collected from the source water assessment
       and protection program. The State is also awarding grants to local outreach groups to develop and implement
       community education programs to promote source water protection.
       Most States  set aside the maximum 10 percent of their fiscal year 1997 grant allowed under 1452(k) to fund
       source water assessment programs. States  are using the funds to: conduct outreach, including organizing
       technical advisory committees and public advisory groups; research and establish alternative approaches and
       protocols for completing source water assessments; document assessment work that has already been completed;
       characterize ground water systems; delineate source water assessment areas; conduct inventories of potential
       contaminant sources; make susceptibility determinations for all public water systems in the State; and establish
       data management systems.
       Maine has loaned 1452(k) funds to water systems to purchase land needed to protect sources of drinking water
       as an alternative to expensive treatment. Maryland and Virginia are establishing loan programs to implement
       voluntary incentive-based source water protection measures.  Both States have developed priority systems to
       determine which water systems will receive funds. The types of projects these States have included  as eligible
       for funding include creation of a local fund to retrofit existing stormwater management facilities, development of
       local source water protection ordinances, and implementation of programs to reduce use of fertilizers and
       encourage local tree planting.
       Recognizing that ground water is an important source of drinking water for residents of North Carolina, the
       State is reserving 1452(k) funds to initiate a highly visible campaign to educate local and State officials,
       business and industry leaders, water supply operators, and the general public about wellhead protection. The
       State is also contracting with third parties to assist communities in developing and implementing wellhead
       protection plans and conducting well inspections and sanitary surveys of public water systems that use ground
       water as a source of drinking water.

Information about the DWSRF program is available on the EPA Office of Ground Water and
Drinking Water (OGWDW) homepage [www.epa.gov/safewater/dwsrf.html]. Information
about the Source Water Assessment and Protection Program is also available on-line
[www.epa.gov/safewater/protect.html].  For questions concerning a specific State, a list of
State or EPA Regional DWSRF and source water protection coordinators can be found on
OGWDW's webpage.  You can also call the  Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791